Child Abuse in Golf

Child Abuse in Golf

In 2012, Labour MP, Tom Watson alleged that famous and powerful people abused children in golf club car parks in the 1970s and 1980s. Golf is a sport often associated with professional and powerful people, but if proper precautions are not taken by club owners and managers, children can be left vulnerable to sexual predators.

If you have been a victim of abuse whilst participating in golf as a child, the effects on your later life can be devastating. Many victims struggle to hold down jobs, maintain healthy relationships, and suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and/or depression.

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How do I make a claim?

Making a claim for child abuse which has occurred at a golf club will require you to contact a solicitor who is an expert in managing child abuse cases.  At IBB Law, we have a team of highly-trained, sensitive solicitors who can guide you through the claims process and ensure those who failed in their duty to protect you from harm, compensate you for the damage they caused.

Is there a time limit on making claims for sexual abuse that occurred at a golf club? There are generally no time limits for prosecuting abusers; however, there are time limits imposed for making a compensation claim. Usually, victims have three years from the time the abuse took place, or from the time of their 18th birthday to bring compensation claim. However, due to the sensitive nature of sexual abuse cases, judges will sometimes allow cases that are technically ‘out of time’.  The court has the discretion to extend timetables, meaning compensation claims for historic abuse which occurred in golf clubs can be heard many years down the track.

What is the process of making a claim?

One of our solicitors will firstly discuss the general details of your case to try and establish if you have a claim of negligence.

We will then recommend you report allegations of the abuse to the police.

If we believe that there is a reasonably strong case for compensation to pursue, we will organise medical reports detailing the physical and mental effects the abuse had on you.  Following this, your legal team will prepare a file containing records and dates of the abuse, including names and details of the individual/s and the organisation that employed them.

Once an investigation is completed and all the evidence is gathered, we will then contact the golf club in question, notifying them that we are claiming compensation for abuse on your behalf. They can either choose to accept the allegations and settle the claim or defend them. If the latter occurs, we will immediately file court proceedings.

How long with the process take? Claims for historic abuse can take many years, especially if there are many victims and an ongoing criminal case. Claims can take up to 36 months to complete; however, you can count on our support and dedication, no matter how long the process takes.

Will I have to go to court?

Not necessarily.  Our vast experience and skill in alternative dispute resolution procedures such as mediation means that most of the claims we bring are settled long before they reach the courtroom. This is important to us as we know how upsetting and stressful it can be for victims of child sexual or physical abuse to appear in court.

If a settlement cannot be reached, we will ensure you have expert counsel representing you and 24/7 support from our team throughout the trial process.

How much will it cost to make a claim?

At IBB Law we provide ‘conditional fee arrangements’, otherwise known as ‘no win, no fee’. This means that if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay any legal fees to our solicitors.

Because we are shouldering the risk of your claim, you can therefore feel confident that we believe it has a strong chance of success. You can further protect yourself by taking out After the Event insurance to cover the other side’s costs if the court orders that you must pay them. This is something that we can organise for you.

By instructing IBB Law to manage your compensation claim for abuse occurring whilst participating in golf as a minor, you can be confident that you have the best possible chance of success. We will expertly guide you through the process, providing you and your family with support as and when you require it. If early settlement is not possible, you can be assured that we will robustly fight your claim in court, protecting your interests and obtaining the compensation you deserve.

We believe that the victims of abuse in sports settings have suffered in silence for too long. IBB Law are committed and passionate about supporting victims and getting justice for them. Every child has the right to participate in sporting activities without the risk of harm coming to them.  By bringing a claim for compensation, you are not only empowering yourself, but ensuring those whose negligent acts and/or omissions failed to protect you are held to account.

If you would like further information on making a compensation claim for child abuse which occurred in a golf club, please call our office on 0333 123 9099 to make an appointment with one of our team.


  • Malcolm Underhill
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  • Simon Pimlott
      • 01895 207236
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  • Jacqueline Almond
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  • Salima Mawji
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  • Justin Govier
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  • Neelam Chauhan
      • 01895 207240
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  • Nerys Dadey
      • 01494 790041
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  • Rachel Green
      • 01895 207230
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